Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

Tag Archives: shortcut

{Quick Post} URL shortcuts

I’ve had this little snippet hanging about for a while, and I’m almost sure 99% of people are already aware of this, but hey, that still means 1% aren’t. So here’s a quick quirk that I noticed a few years back in the way browsers process values entered into the location bar.

If you’re like most users, you type google.com to get to Google much more than you type http://www.google.com… after all, if HTTP is the default and the remote site handles the redirect to the right place, it’s all good! Still, in the location bar, HTTP isn’t the default! Before tying that, your browser is going to check you didn’t mean something else…

To test this, create a shortcut on your Windows desktop called yahoo.com and assign the shortcut to go to http://www.google.com… if you want to do this programatically, just open an editor and enter the following :


Now save that as yahoo.com.url on the desktop and open your favourite browser. Type yahoo.com into the location bar and see what happens!


As far as a security issue goes, I’m not sure you can class this as a problem. After all if you have the ability to edit files on a system, then surely altering the etc/hosts file would be more effective. Still, maybe on restricted systems this might come in handy!


A few people have mentioned that this seems fixed in the latest Chrome and in IE 8. Tested this end and IE 7 is “vulnerable” to this quirk. Nice to see browser vendors have started fixing this over the past year or so!